Leafs, Wild and Oilers lead series; Bruins win one; Pavelski did not disappoint (May 6) – DobberHockey
After three games, neither team leads 3-0 in a series. Is it any wonder how the teams are tied today? That being said, there have been some lopsided scores, especially in the later games.
Bruins 4, Hurricanes 2 (Hurricanes lead the series 2-1)
Replacing the struggling Linus Ullmark in the net for Game 3, Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves as he backed the Bruins to their first win of the series at home. Swayman was making his first career playoff start, and one would have to think he’ll start in Game 4 as well.
The Bruins’ production line has been reunited after being separated during the regular season, and it seemed to pay off. Brad Marchand scored a goal and added two assists on the power play to lead all Bruins scoring. Marchand had struggled a bit in April, at one point without a score for 11 games and registering just two assists in a nine-game span. Expect the top stack to continue, which will be great for Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, but not so much for the other Bruins forwards.
Pyotr Kochetkov also made his first playoff start in Game 3, stopping 24 of 28 shots in the loss. Kochetkov, 36and overall pick in the 2019 draft, came to North America after the end of the KHL season and had posted strong numbers in the AHL when he arrived (15 GP, 2.09 GAA, 0.921 SV%). He’s only 22 and would still be learning English, and the playoffs aren’t something he or the Canes expected him to experience this season, so we have to give him some slack if this beginning was not ideal. There’s a good chance that Antti Raanta will be in the net for Game 4, but at least the future looks bright for Kochetkov (Dobber Prospects profile).
Scary scene during the second period of this game, as the penalty box attendant needed medical attention after a glass window fell behind him (look here). Hope this gentleman is doing well. And friends, please don’t pound on the glass when you’re watching a hockey game. A completely unnecessary incident that delayed the match.
Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 2 (Leaves lead series 2-1)
Jack Campbell has had a rocky regular season, but he seems to be finding his game at the right time. Campbell stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced, making impressive saves such as the following:
It should be mentioned that over 10 career playoff games (all with the Leafs), Campbell has a GAA of 1.97 and an SV of 0.931%.
Ilya Mikheyev scored two empty-net goals to cement the win. Pierre Engvall assisted on both of those goals and finished the game with three assists in total. Mikheyev also finished the game with six shots and five hits.
Wild 5, Blues 1 (Wild lead series 2-1)
After a hat trick in Game 2, Kirill Kaprizov scored another goal and added an assist in Game 3. That gives him five points, a plus-4 and nine shots over his last two games. The Wild have been on offense in those last two games, scoring 11 goals.
After his hat trick in Game 2, Joel Eriksson Ek also scored another goal and added an assist in Game 3. Eriksson Ek also has five runs, a plus-5 and eight hits over his last two games. .
Marc-André Fleury stopped 29 of 30 shots for the victory. He’s allowed just three goals in his last two games. After the Game 1 loss (four goals on 31 shots), Cam Talbot seemed like an option for Game 2. However, the Wild did not trade a second-round pick (first-round pick if the Wild advances to the Finals conference) so that The flower could wither on the bench.
Adding injury to insult for St. Louis, Torey Krug left Game 3 in the first period with a lower-body injury. Craig Berube says Krug will be re-evaluated tomorrow, which puts his availability for Game 4 in jeopardy. The Blues are already without Nick Leddy and Robert Bortuzzo, so an under-equipped defense won’t be ideal as they trail in the series.
Oilers 8, Kings 2 (Oilers lead series 2-1)
The Edmonton Oilers continue to score, racking up 14 goals over the past two games. The crazy part is that it’s not necessarily Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, despite finishing Game 3 with two points apiece.
Evander Kane is on fire. After a three-point third period in Game 2, Kane followed it up with three goals in Game 3. The hat-trick goal was with less than a minute left and the result was already decided, but they all count. Kane was everything you’d want from a crossover player in Game 3, recording a plus-3 with nine shots and eight hits. He’s what you would call a top player.
Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored a pair of goals while adding an assist. Hyman took six shots, while Nugent-Hopkins took five shots. Nuge’s two goals were scored within 81 seconds.
Evan Bouchard recorded a pair of assists in Game 3, giving him five assists in his last three games. He’s also taken nine shots in the series so far.
Even Cody Ceci got in on the action, recording three assists with a plus-4.
Mike Smith was brilliant in net again, stopping 44 of 46 shots after a shutout in Game 2. No one is kidding him right now.
McDavid has two points in each of the three games in this series, so he’s more than doing well in the playoff pools. Did you expect a five point game or something like that?
Cal Petersen replaced Jonathan Quick in net for the Kings after Quick allowed four goals on 17 shots. Quick have allowed 10 goals combined in their last two games, which is two very poor starts. I know Quick has a long history as a Kings starter, but don’t be surprised if it’s Petersen who starts in Game 4.
In other news, Casey DeSmith is out for the remainder of the playoffs after core muscle surgery. It looks like it will be more Louis Domingue in this series, since Tristan Jarry does not seem ready to return. At least this series returns to Pittsburgh for two games. You are in a good position if you have chosen Rangers skaters in your playoff group.
With the regular season now in the books, I will take the opportunity over the next few days to review my season predictions. Specifically, my picks for Player to Rebound and Player to Disappoint. Turns out I was right on one but incorrect on the other. Yesterday I wrote about my good choice of player to bounce back to Frederik Andersen. Today I’m going to make plain the incorrect choice I made of Joe Pavelski as a potential bust.
There were several reasons not to be optimistic about Pavelski before the start of the season. Pavelski’s age (37), a somewhat unexpected rebound at near point-per-game levels, and a high shooting percentage (18 SH%) could all be cited as reasons for the decline. I had even received comments during the offseason to remove Pavelski from the Top 100 Roto Rankings. (I decided to keep it there, even though I was skeptical about it.)
Even with a lower shooting percentage (12.5 SH%) and lower PDO (from 1042 to 1013), Pavelski managed to improve his 2020-21 numbers with a points-per-game pace (81 PTS in 82 GP). He maintained a similar shots-per-game pace, while his goals tally only increased by two while playing in 26 more games. The key was increased ice time with one of the best lines in the league in Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz. Each of these three players recorded a minimum of 72 points, while no other star managed to break 50 points.
What you think of Pavelski in the future will depend on when you think his age-related decline will really hit. It was thought to have happened in 2019-20, when he scored just 31 points in 67 games, his first season in Dallas. Pavelski seemed to need time to adjust to a new system in Dallas, but it worked very well. If you draft him next season, be careful with the line combinations because stepping out of that line could negatively impact his fantasy value.
I’ll take credit for correctly casting Connor McDavid for the Art Ross and Auston Matthews for the Rocket Richard. Given that many other writers have predicted the same in the season forecasts, neither comes as a major surprise. Once the remaining winners are announced, I will compare the actual winners to my projections.
I have to add that at the end. The donut story is way too funny.
Get your DFS picks and game bets early today, as Saturday’s first game (Florida/Washington) starts at 1 p.m. ET. Look for our DFS articles coming soon, if they haven’t already.